Monday, April 11, 2011

Royal pain in the Azlan

The self-styled Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar doesn't feature on many travel itineraries of Malaysia. You'd think I'd have learned by now - especially after such pointless places as Dulan - that this probably means it isn't massively worth spending my precious time visiting. But with my generous Malaysian visa putting me under less time pressure than I had in Thailand, I mistakenly thought this meant I could visit any old place and have a worthwhile day out.

However, that wasn't accounting for renovation work, reclusive sultans, dehydration and the leg anxieties of a non-existent god, which together meant I hardly got to see any of this place. I am perhaps slightly bitter. The fact that when you get down to it, most of these 'problems' can be blamed squarely on myself is of no consequence - Sultan Azlan Shah owes me my afternoon back! Even if he has an enviably cool name.

Still, the architecture's pretty impressive, right? Though it's not like I got to see inside any place.

Kuala Kangsar

Masjid Ubadiah mosque (1919) and its spectacular golden onion.

We weren't allowed inside because we were wearing shorts. Apparently it's really nice in there. Even though an elephant broke the marble floor, because the crown prince let it wander about. That's fine, but no human legs, right?

Istana Iskandariah palace (1933).

The security guard didn't let us past the gate. Still, nice gate, right?

Trying to get shots of the palace felt like tracking a reclusive animal that didn't want to be seen. Which I guess it was. Right, Sult? (Apparently, he wasn't even home)

At least we can rely on the Royal Museum to learn ab... oh.

Still, nice bumblebee colour scheme, right?

The Belgian guys I was with said the art gallery was actually pretty nice. But I got dehydrated and had to walk for miles to find a shop that wasn't closed for Sunday, and then got lost on the way back until some lovely Muslim women gave me a lift (despite the unfair things I'd said about their god), so I didn't get to see this either.

Still, I can somehow blame the gallery for this, right?

I don't know what this hedge sculpture is supposed to look like, but I know what it looks like to me from certain contrived angles

Even this crocodile got bored to death of Kuala Kangsar

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